The Griswolds - Be Impressive
The Griswolds' debut album, Be Impressive, lives up to its name with tracks ranging from the band's signature pop/rock to the most haunting and honest tracks like "Thread The Needle" which you never would have expected to come from the same band whose Little Red Riding Hood meetsKill Bill inspired graphics provide the backdrop for the album's most popular single, "Beware The Dog".
The album opens with "16 Years" and a chorus that hits so sweetly you'll fall, instantly, for the entire album. Honest lines run through fun riffs and a persistent rhythm that will never truly leave your head before dipping into a haunted bridge whose lyrics play out in stark opposition to honeyed bass lines and clap-along rhythms in a transfixing mixture of genres that will make you want to close your eyes and dance around.
Tracks "Right On Track" and "Not Ready Anymore" feel like they were taken, initially, from the debut album handbook but, with the band's unique ability to fill a track to the brim without it feeling overproduced and to twine authentic lyrics into dance-worthy rhythms, the tracks are kept from sinking into cliched oblivion. Lines "I never listen to my head before my heart but now I'm right on track" weave through fun bass lines and sweet rhythms while "Not Ready Anymore" closes the album out with sweet rhythms, haunting riffs, and "we'll never compromise our place, you'll never recognize my face, I'll come creeping around your place, but you'll never recognize my face, 'cause I'm not ready anymore" being wrapped up by a bittersweet whistling hook that's sure to leave you wanting more.
"If You Wanna Stay" and "Beware The Dog" are sure to be crowd favorites with sing-along choruses, hearty rhythms, and dance-worthy melodies that will be running through your head all day while tracks like "Down and Out" and "America" will run in close second with impossibly fun beats and lyrics you'll be singing in the shower after a few listens.
"Live This Nightmare" feels like walking through a hazy dance floor at three in the morning with sultry guitar riffs, low bass, a haunted rhythm, and lines "I won't lie to keep you here, I could never be that cold, my dear" coming out like a trance.
"Aurora Borealis" and title track, "Be Impressive", seem like a mature take on the beach inspired pop/rock of earlier tracks like "Mississippi" with winding riffs descending into steady rhythms and lyrics that read biographically in a way that will leave you singing along to unforgivingly honest lines and dancing to the infectious melodies.
The Griswolds' rhythms are so earnest that it's sometimes easy to forget that the band has intelligent compositions and thoughful lyrics but "Thread The Needle" takes a step back from the heavy beats and playful riffs to shine the light on articulate and honest lines that play out against a solid rhythm strong enough to keep the track from dipping into melancholia and a soft melody that plays out sweetly with low bass and prominent strings as gorgeous as lines "you'll find your feet, try not to worry now, 'cause you're not too proud to need someone" and "oh my God I try, to thread the needle into this old life, and I know sometimes it's hard to try, and I know it's hard to try". By the time Whitehall's understated vocals close the track out with the repetition of "1995, after school, smoking cigarettes, punk hair-do, hyper colored t-shirts, pumping up your Ree-boks, smells like teenage spirit" you should be thoroughly hooked.
Get your copy of The Griswolds' Be Impressive from iTunes for your soundtrack for the rest of the summer and check out tracks "16 Years", "Beware The Dog", and "Thread the Needle".